Carnes: Mask not what your country can do for you
Mask: what you can do for your country.
At least that’s the way it’s been for the last year and up to just a few days ago, but man oh man, what a difference a day makes.
One 24-hour period we’re being told to stay focused on washing our hands, keeping social distance and, of course, wearing masks, and the next we are told, “Fuggedaboutit, we’re all good, capiche?”
Talk about turning on a dime and then slamming it in reverse.
These new latest and greatest CDC recommendations are being served on a ginormous Lazy Susan and we’re all sitting on a nationwide table.
It’s a spinning weather vane of suggestions, and there’s an approaching tornado.
It’s Mr. Miyagi repeating to Daniel, “Masks on, mask off,” when all he really meant was everything is not as it seems.
As usual though, there is a caveat — one must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be allowed to follow these latest recommendations.
The words “must” and “allowed” are by far the two most defining words in the previous sentence.
But the big and painfully obvious question is: How do we tell the difference?
Well, it’s based on trust, and surely since we’re all Americans, we can trust one another, right?
Yep, therein lies el problemo.
Does this mean tourists can now walk down Bridge Street breathing our fresh, crisp mountain air without being confronted by a town of Vail Information Person (basically a version of the wintertime Yellow Jackets that hang around “SLOW!” signs on the mountain each season, only they can’t pull your pass) reminding them to pull up their mask (“it goes ‘over’ the nose, please…”)?
Or will it still be a “normal tourist visit” like Georgia Congressman and Trump cultist, Andrew Clyde, who claims that’s all the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was, and they’ll continue to be hounded left and right by do-gooders who mean well but come across condescending?
I don’t know, and at this point I don’t really care either.
This entire issue takes “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” to a whole new level, and seemingly overnight it’s culturally acceptable to go mask-less.
Now I understand how women felt in the late ’60s when all of the sudden it was culturally acceptable to go bra-less.
Some, like spineless House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, claim it’s all a political ploy to distract from high gas prices, inflation and the Middle East crisis.
And the sad part about such a senseless claim is that there are those who will believe him, no matter how absurd the accusation, even though history keeps proving over and over that the party occupying the White House has diddly-squat to do with gas prices and inflation and, besides, I thought what’s-his-name’s son-in-law solved the whole Middle East thing last year.
Anyway, I give it less than a week, or maybe two, before 99% of all businesses in Happy Valley chuck mask requirements for fear of competitors doing the same.
And once again pure, unadulterated capitalism will reign supreme over the land — sans masks.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.